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Selling yourself

Translate your non-working years into marketable skills

by Michelle Lederman  |  1907 views  |  0 comments  |        Rate this now! 

Seeking someone who is creative, energetic, organized, efficient, and flexible, also needs to be a problem solver, a decision maker, a team player, and an effective communicator.

Does that sound like the ideal candidate for any job or like the skills you need to run a household and raise a family? The simple answer is -- both. As a mom, you have already done it all. If the person on the other side of the desk doesn’t think so, it is your responsibility to disabuse them of that belief. The problem is perception, yours and theirs. The first step is to believe it yourself. You must not only know you can do it, but that you have done it.

Pick any day last week and think about what skills you needed to accomplish your day. Get the kids up, dressed, and fed. Make sure they have their homework, lunch money and get to the bus on time. Before 9 a.m., you have already displayed the ability to multi-task, manage time, be detail oriented, organized, and responsible. These are essential qualities of an office manager, recruiter and event planner.

You run errands, pay bills, think about Halloween costumes and science projects, schedule play dates and carpooling with other parents, clean the house and figure out how to be at your daughter’s recital and your son’s play on the same night. You have relied on your creativity, decision-making and problem solving skills, not to mention your ability to cope with stress, in order to host a play date at your house. I bet you are constantly employing team management, conflict resolution, and communication skills when dealing with a group of emotionally charged youngsters. Managing a team of teenagers working at a retail store or restaurant doesn’t sound that different.

Dinner is done, dishes washed, and the kids are in bed, now you have time to work on the fund-raising project for your local charity. Did you know that many non-profit organizations pay a percentage of money raised to those who organize the effort?

After a day like that, do you have any challenge believing you display energy and stamina? Now think about what you contend with on a day that does not go smoothly. Convinced? Still not sure others will see it? Your stories of life challenges and creative solutions are not only compelling and transferable, but also highly desirable for any employer. Don’t worry how simple the task may sound. What’s important is your approach to solving it, accomplishing it or just plain getting it all done.

Are you creative and comfortable working with technology? Perhaps you would enjoy graphic design, working on magazine layouts or starting your own greeting card line. Is your strong suit conflict resolution, multi-tasking and leadership? Envision yourself managing a store, restaurant or a community program. There are an abundance of accounting, bookkeeping and office management jobs for detail oriented and organized women that are good with numbers or have QuickBooks experience. If you like working with people and are at ease with communications, consider a career in sales, fund-raising or real estate.

About the Author

Michelle Tillis Lederman is the founder of Executive Essentials, which provides customized communications and leadership workshops. She has delivered seminars internationally for corporations, universities, high schools, and non profit organizations including; JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, Columbia Business School, and The Museum of Modern Art. Michelle is an Adjunct Professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business and serves on the faculty of the American Management Association.

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